Spiced Up

Next to Last Day Chuf-shah

What kind of chufshah/vacation – different. Not bad, not bad at all. I rather enjoyed the visioning aspect the romance of middle eastern sleeping in fever especially now that I can refer to it in the past tense. I learned a load of music in a small package. I even made several connections from my past that will reveal itself in unexpected ways into the future.

Today I had only several goals, one to pay the two parking tickets I received yesterday. This happens to me every time I come here, I zoom around the country in my rental dodge-em car with impunity, park everywhere, and on the last day the shadow authorities who have been watching me for the whole time swoop down and tag me as many times as I leave the chariot for what they refer to as parking (foreign aid).

I figured out by myself how to pay the parking tickets on-line. I was as proud of this as if I was an astronaut and made an emergency adjustment on the equilibrium byzoozle that keeps the capsule from spinning off into space.

Then I went looking for the one sefer/book I wanted to purchase while I have been here that I have been studying on-line with a guy from Jerusalem who teaches it at midnight (his time) by some visual skype-like technology to me in St. Louis. I met him once in person, we actually did a gig together, and I see him every week on my computer screen and he told me where to find the book. I couldn’t find the book. I didn’t want to bother him while I was here because I knew his son was in the country and he was visiting his father on the coast, etc. I went to the three bookstores I knew which were in proximity before my ankle started to smart again so I was done looking.

I consoled myself by stopping at the CD store in the center of the town where the guys really know music and you can listen to anything you like. They got a huge kick out of the things I was asking for. Who are you? They kept asking. Where are you from? I’m from St. Louis. Where is that? I explained a half a dozen ways which didn’t relate until I said it was near Chicago.

They brought out a load of music I had never heard and we listened over the store system and I chose four tasty CDs talked music deep deep and all four guys waved goodbye and were amazed I spoke Hebrew.

While I was in the store I got a call from the guy who teaches me the sefer I was looking for. Where are you? He asked. I’m in the CD store in Jerusalem. Nice store, he said. Where are you? I asked back. I’m in Katamon [neighborhood in Jerusalem], where I live.

I went looking for the sefer we’re studying. I’ll bring it to you, he said. I can stop at a bookstore near my house that has it. I have a bicycle. Where shall we meet. So we met at the bagel store in the neighborhood where I used to live and he brought me the sefer in two volumes and we sat in the bagel store and I chose a passage and we learned it drinking cappuccino.

It was a piece about the world spicing itself up and lifting up even from the dark corners as the externals fall away. My teacher wrote in the margin the date of our learning, my name, Jerusalem the holy city.